Trump Probably Had the Right to Appoint Mulvaney

A quick note on the situation as the CFPB board.

Clearly, the change of leadership at the Bureau, which is inevitable since no one denies that President Trump can put a new person in charge with Senate approval, is a disaster for consumer protection. But what about the decision of a federal judge, a Trump appointee, that Mick Mulvaney is the rightful interim director? My initial impression was that Leandra English had the better part of this argument, indeed a pretty open and shut argument based on the statute that created the CFPB.

But it now seems to me that Trump in fact did have the better legal argument. I base that on this article in Slate from two days ago by Dahlia Lithwick. Like many of you, I’ve read Dahlia’s writing for many years and put great stock in her opinion and analysis. The piece itself makes what seems to me a strong case based on a close textual analysis of the two relevant statutes and general principles of statutory interpretation that in fact Trump was entitled to put Mulvaney in place.

This of course would help explain why the CFPB’s own chief lawyer issued an opinion in Trump’s and Mulvaney’s favor in advance of the judge’s decision.

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